Kazakhstan 2017 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | COLUMN

TBY talks to Almaz Sharman, President, Academy of Preventive Medicine, on the sector.

Almaz Sharman

To what extent does the language barrier affect the development of Kazakhstan's healthcare?

The language barrier is not the main problem, though it is an issue. Around 90% of modern literature on advanced healthcare is published in English and ideally doctors, clinicians, and educators should be able to read it. All clinical trials have to be published in English. Most pharmaceutical companies that drive international healthcare look at clinical trials. The language barrier applies not only to healthcare but other sectors as well.

Hospital care seems to prevail over primary care in Kazakhstan. What should be done to develop primary care?

People tend to seek hospitals rather than primary care because pharmaceutical companies push them to. There are certain models that exist around the globe and one of them is bundled care. Many economic incentives have to be introduced to promote primary healthcare, which is fundamental to the healthcare system. The Declaration on Primary Healthcare was adopted in Almaty in 1978. It describes the six fundamental pillars of primary healthcare and was quite advanced for the time.